Breaking barriers and shining bright: ‘With perseverance, anything can be accomplished.'

Interview | October 3, 2023

In the historically male-dominated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, there are a few female trailblazers who have paved the path for others. Meet Ilse Alvite, a Global Social Media & Digital Tools Manager at ABB Measurement & Analytics, who has had an inspiring journey through STEM.

Daring to be different

Ilse’s story begins in Mexico City, where her fascination with engineering and the desire to understand how things are built and function ignited a lifelong passion. With that determination, she chose to pursue a degree in Industrial Engineering at Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico City. As Ilse delved into the world of engineering, she found herself drawn to the intricacies of quality control. In her final year of college, while working on her thesis, she focused on applying Six Sigma methodology to enhance the pipe manufacturing process of a local steel plant. This early experience laid the foundation for her career in STEM and instilled in her the importance of precision and continuous improvement.

Meanwhile, Ilse began an internship at Eaton, a U.S.-based power management company with offices in Mexico. This marked the beginning of a six-year-long professional association with the company. “Initially joining as an intern in 2012, I was fortunate to explore various roles and expand my skill set, eventually transitioning into the field of marketing.”

“While the engineering field was still predominantly male, I was fortunate to enter a more inclusive era, with 40% of professionals in the sector being women.”

However, Ilse's career has not been without its share of challenges related to her gender. In her early career, she encountered resistance from some male team members who did not like having a younger woman as their boss. However, with the support of her managers and her own determination, she was able to overcome these obstacles and earn the respect she deserved.


Acing the tech world

In 2018, Ilse moved to the United States, a bold decision that changed her life. It meant leaving behind her familiar culture, family and friends. Yet, she embraced this opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. Her journey took a significant turn when she joined ABB as a marketing specialist for Channel Partners in the Americas, but this was just the beginning. “ABB recognized my potential and provided me with the support and opportunities I needed to thrive,” Ilse said. With a history of courageous career moves, Ilse enjoyed exploring new fields and seizing diverse opportunities.

“My engineering background was instrumental in bridging the gap between technology development and technology marketing.”

As a woman in STEM, Ilse has been inspired by remarkable women throughout her career, who have taught her valuable lessons and motivated her to succeed. “In my formative years, one of my role models was Amelia Earhart, the pioneering aviator, who shattered gender norms and set records through sheer determination and courage,” IIse said. More recently, Ilse has found inspiration in former Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg, who has encouraged women to “sit at the table,” embrace challenges, take risks and relentlessly pursue their goals. “Her words deeply resonated with me, and her insights and experiences have provided me with valuable guidance and motivation as I navigate my own journey,” Ilse added.

Ilse does not just admire role models; she strives to be one herself. She makes a conscious effort to share her experiences with those in the early stages of their careers, inspiring them to pursue their dreams. When asked about her advice to other women and girls entering STEM fields, Ilse's words ring with wisdom. She encourages them to be courageous in the face of challenges, reassuring them that “with perseverance, anything can be accomplished.”


Thriving together at ABB

Meanwhile, at ABB, Ilse's career has flourished. She moved up the ladder, becoming the Global Marketing Manager for Channel Partners. But it was during her stint as interim Global Digital Manager that she discovered her true passion – Digital Marketing. This newfound love for technology blended with her engineering roots, and Ilse found herself at the forefront of ABB's digital transformation.

When asked about her most significant success at ABB, Ilse recalls a remarkable achievement. “Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, our team organized a 100% virtual event for ABB's Channel Partners worldwide. This online platform provided attendees with an immersive experience, complete with product exhibitions as well as virtual products and rooms,” she notes.

During her time at ABB, Ilse has witnessed the company's commitment to diversity and inclusion through the presence of several women in leadership positions. These women have served as exceptional role models, embodying ABB's dedication to fostering inclusivity. As for work-life balance, Ilse hasn’t had to make a difficult choice between her career and personal life yet. However, she recognizes that company policies can vary greatly depending on the country, and she hopes to see more global policies that prioritize and support women in their quest to balance work and personal life.

Ilse's journey has been filled with inspiring moments, but what she values most about her career is seeing the results and improvements that come from hard work and collaboration. Over nearly five years at ABB, she has witnessed the company's ability to adapt to change, work as a team and consistently deliver positive outcomes. “Two ABB values hold a special place in my heart: courage and curiosity. These values have been guiding lights throughout my career. Courage gave me the audacity to explore new fields, while curiosity fueled my desire to learn and step out of my comfort zone,” Ilse said.

“I feel fortunate to have joined a team that has each other's backs.”

Ilse's story underscores the power of determination, courage and a supportive work environment. She is proof that women can thrive in traditionally male-dominated fields and serve as inspiring role models for the next generation of STEM enthusiasts. Her journey from an industrial engineer to a digital marketing trailblazer is an example of what can be achieved when one combines a passion for embracing challenges with the courage to step into uncharted territory.


About Ilse

In 2018, Ilse Alvite began her journey at ABB as a Channel Partner Marketing specialist, quickly rising to Global Channel Partner Marketing Manager. Presently, she serves as Global Social Media & Digital Tools Manager, overseeing Measurement & Analytics' global digital presence.

Years at ABB: 5 years

Initiatives/products worked on so far: 10+ projects at ABB Group level, regional and global Channel Partner events, as well as leading the Houston LatinX Encompass group. Other notable projects −Formula E, Employee Advocacy Program and MeasureXperience.

Superpower: courage, curiosity, embraces challenges

Share this page

Discover more

  • Contact us

    Submit your inquiry and we will contact you

    Contact us
Select region / language